Well, the first Presidential Debate is over. To me, it clearly showed a contrast of experience versus inexperience.
Often, the split-screen showed a Barack Obama with mannerisms and facial expressions that clearly showed a more adolescent behavior by shaking his head, raising his eye brows, and, quite often, looking irritated. There was no poker face from Barack. McCain, on the hand, would show a small smile when he knew Barack was either wrong or trying to attack. That was interesting in itself because the press build up to this whole debate was whether or not McCain could hold his temper. It many ways, just the opposite occurred.
On the issue of spending, I clearly saw a Barack Obama who wasn't ready to budge on his plans for spending; despite the current economic crisis. Jim Lehrer went after him on that three times. McCain, too, had less specifics on this same topic. However, he did say clearly that he would go through the spending plans for each government agency and department and cut the fat.
There were no memorable lines or gotcha moments in this debate. Nothing that could be taken back to the water cooler on Monday. On many issues, Obama was at a loss to clearly delineate himself with John McCain. I think he said that he agreed with McCain on 7 or 8 issues. McCain was successful in shooting down Obama's campaign thrust that McCain would be 4 more years of George Bush. He did this several times when he talked about Russia, Somalia, and Lebanon. He clearly outlined his opposition to Bush on the proper prosecution of the war in Iraq; going all the way back to 2003. He did it on a couple of budgetary issues.
I think that the liberals will say Barack won. The conservatives will say the opposite. I am not sure that this debate may have changed a lot of minds in the middle; except that, McCain may have looked a bit stronger.